Remember the legends in Greek mythology about seductive Sirens who seduce sailors and drive them mad with lust and greed? Well, Japanese director Satoshi Torao attempts to explore this myth in this Japanese pink horror film “SIREN” (Shin yojo Densetsu: seiren, a.k.a. Erotic Ghost Siren, 2004) with JAV-superstar Sora Aoi in the lead. The film is a low budget film that was just arguably made for Sora Aoi to show her stuff in her first non-AV role. I liked her in “Man, Woman and The Wall” and “Tsumugi”, so I wanted to check out how she fares in a horror movie.
It was the perfect plan as 5 individuals stage the perfect bank robbery dressed as women. None knew of the other’s real names and they have taken fake names like: Freddie, Jason, Jaws, Lector and Chucky (cast of Ikki Funaki, Junichi Kawamoto, HideakI Mizuki, Kazuyoshi Ozawa and Yuuken Yoshida). (Horror films anyone?) so that even if one was caught, no one can sell out the rest. After the heist that made them $ 1,520,000; they would go on separate ways after waiting a few days when the heat dies down. But after they stumble upon a beautiful woman named Yumi (Sora Aoi) who was supposed to deliver supplies, they decide to kidnap her after she saw them with the money. They take her to an abandoned goldmine so that they can hide out. The quintet make the decision to keep her around and take advantage of her sexually. But something begins to become amiss as they find one of their number dead and they slowly begin to turn against each other. Little do they know that they are ensnared in the web of a succubus-sea ogre who preys on the greed and lust of men…
“Siren” is a B-movie affair and the film has very low budget sensibilities. There are hardly any special effects and the movie is mostly shot in the woods. I was expecting another of those exploitive pink horror films and while it is, “Siren” isn’t actually all that bad. The film serves as a cautionary tale for men who are after riches and the lust for women. I guess this is where director Torao incorporates the mythic tales of a woman who feeds on the lifeforce of greedy and lustful men. It does succeed a little, as the characters do have their potential and for a pink horror film, the sex scenes don’t exactly take control of every plot device. An incubus is the demonic counterpart of a succubus who preys on women if you're curious. The men are left quite dehydrated after they have intercourse with our lovely succubus.
This is Sora Aoi’s first non-AV role and while her acting is very uneven in this film, I’ve already seen her mature both in looks and acting ability in “Tsumugi”. She is very ’cute’ and sexy; I guess it helps that a woman with such girlish features can be a succubus; one look at her, and my male hormones went into overdrive that I wouldn’t suspect her as an evil ogre. Sora Aoi gets naked quite often and her nude scenes in the film are the film’s main draw. Of course, any pink horror film would have its share of gratuitous sex scenes and “Siren” doesn’t disappoint. There are about three sex scenes with lovely Sora Aoi and they are all quite erotic and arousing with the famous trademarks of pink films. Nope, there are no scenes of full frontal nudity unfortunately but the crotch areas don’t’ get “fogged” either.
I’ve mentioned that the film’s devices doesn’t revolve around the sex scenes and this is true. The film’s script instead focuses on the bank robbers who slowly begin to distrust each other. They play poker to see who gets to sleep with Yumi first. They are all taken by their beautiful hostage but they should have found it odd that Yumi never once tried to escape; she seemed to be enjoying her situation. The acting by the supporting cast is pretty wooden except for the actor who played Jason, he displayed the most talent out of the five.
Overall, “Siren” isn’t really anything special and is very routine; thankfully it doesn‘t fall on the usual softcore category played on late night cable. I sure wished that the film could’ve been more intense and suspenseful, but I guess I shouldn’t complain, I knew what I was getting into with “Siren”. The film’s strengths lie on Sora Aoi as its eye candy and she is definitely a looker. “Siren” isn’t a good movie but it is a fun ‘guilty pleasure’ that makes you feel very naughty.
Rent It! But Recommended to fans of Japanese cinema [2 ½ Stars]
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A Hong Kong erotic film remake of the 1987 film The Witches of Eastwick. Directed by Lam Ngai Kai and starring Amy Yip, So Man, Hitomi Kudo and Manfred Wong, it was released in 1990, though it was first screened in 1987 at the Stiges Film Festival in Spain.
Erotic Ghost Story revolves around three fairies (played by Yip, Man and Kudô) who have attained human form. Upon helping a hapless scholar, the trio begin to have lustful thoughts about him. This soon leads to many erotic romps and the eventual discovery that he is a dangerous demon.
Erotic Ghost Story was a breakthrough film for Amy Yip, who went on to have a career starring in similarly sexy roles such as Sex and Zen, garnering a cult following of fans in the process. The film was also followed by three sequels which were unrelated in plot. Erotic Ghost Story II is particularly notable for featuring Anthony Wong Chau Sang in an early role.